KENYA: Religious Leaders Raise Alarm on Increase of Children Violation  

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, JULY 9, 2021 (CISA)-The Inter Faith Conference is alarmed by reports by different studies and surveys disclosing that one in every two children have experienced violence, with figures by the National Crime Research Centre recording a 205.6% increase in cases of violations of children’s rights between 2017 and 2019.

“From analysis of the prevailing legal and policy dispensation, this Conference recognizes that the low state of protection of children in Kenya is not due to lack of appropriate laws. Rather, the primary reason children are not adequately protected is inefficient enforcement of the laws and policies already in place,” reads a statement released at the end of an Inter Faith Conference on Ending Violence Against Children held in Nairobi on July 7 and 8.

The conference was convened by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem), and World Vision Kenya.

The statement signed by Fr Ferdinard Lugonzo, the General Secretary of KCCB, Rev Canon Chris Kinyanjui of NCCK, Lattif Shaban Director Programs at SUPKEM, and Lillian Dodzo the National Director of World Vision Kenya , pointed at public education, inadequate child programs and inadequate resource allocation to children protection institutions for the surge of children related violence.

“Lack of preventive programs that adopt crime prevention and social protection perspectives that entail parent and caregiver support, economic empowerment, and health for all,” the conference said.

The conference recommended that religious institutions in Kenya integrate child protection in all their teachings, sermons, and structures, calling on clerics to use the ministry platforms to promote children protection.

“Parents should seek to be trained and educated on parenting skills. Do not assume that parenting comes automatically. Parents need to learn from those who have gone before them,” the conference said asking families and education institutions to provide safe environments for children.

The Inter Faith Conference has recommended that cases of violation of children rights be concluded within 6 months to prevent elongated trauma for the victims.